Sara Horn writes about Christian themes, and she likes to do experiments in her marriage to work on applying biblical principles and improving her life. The title of her book, "My So-Called Life as a Submissive Wife," really caught my attention because surely there's not a women's author out there who would promote being a submissive wife today, right?
While reading this book, I learned what the biblical principle of submission actually means, about my own marriage, about being a mother and my priorities in life.
This is Horn's second experiment book; the first was titled, "My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife." Although I hadn't read this earlier book, reading the current one about submission made me want to check out the other because Horn references it many times.
She writes that it was almost easier during that experiment because the Proverbs verse sets out exactly what being a wife should look like.
Horn is a good writer with an easy style, and she invites us into her life — not always simple for writers to do. At the start of this book, she is living with her in-laws, which is actually what the first half of the book is about: She has a lot of trouble with the submission experiment while she lives there. Her husband's parents are kind and wonderful people and led by the matriarch, Ms. Nancy.
Also, her husband had trouble wrapping his mind around this experiment. When she called him to tell him what she was planning for her next book, he wasn't sure if he wanted to participate, which would have made it impossible.
One of the best lines of the book is when he says, "You know the old movie poster, with Han Solo and Princess Leia? The one where she's like lying on the ground, all curled up around his legs? That's what I think when I think of the word submission."
Luckily, Horn has a sense of humor, and she laughed, but then she explained to him that this is the reason why she wanted to investigate the concept because she believes that "men and women complement and complete each other, and they should work together." Somehow, submission fits into this picture.
This is not a how-to book. It's a year in the life of a marriage with some examples that you can apply to your own life. In the end, Horn realizes that her husband changed, that submission felt more like freedom than suppression, and her relationship with God strengthened. "My So-Called Life as a Submissive Wife" details how she came to these conclusions at year's end.
She does give a warning in the beginning of the book, which I found to be important. I was glad she included it. She states that she realizes every marriage is different, but that under no circumstances does being submissive mean that it's OK for a woman to be abused: "Being beaten, whether by words or fists, is not the submission God has in mind for women who are wives."
Besides being a wife, mother and writer, Horn also is a motivational speaker and the founder of Wives of Faith, a faith-based military wives ministry (wivesoffaith.org). She is the author of "A Greater Freedom: Stories of Faith from Operation Iraqi Freedom," written with Oliver North, and "A Military Wife's Spiritual Survival Guide."
Her husband is a Navy reservist and is getting ready for his third deployment. They live in Baton Rouge with their son.
In the end of this book, Horn includes 75 questions for personal study, book clubs or Bible study groups. Her goal is to help women around the world be more satisfied in their marriages and feel freer to be who they want to be both personally and professionally.
Margo L. Dill is the author of "Finding My Place: One Girl's Strength at Vicksburg," a middle grade historical fiction novel. She often reviews books as a columnist for "WOW! Women On Writing" e-zine and her blog, "Margo Dill's Read These Books and Use Them" (margodill.com/blog/). She lives in St. Louis with her family.